Saturday, September 17, 2011

Joshua 1 and 2 September 14, 2011

Remember God’s Promises, Presence, and Protection
Welcome Ladies so good to see you again. Did you bring any friends with you?
QUESTION BOX-You may take complaints straight upstairs and talk to God. Anyone with questions about procedure or the current Bible Study, please write it on a piece of paper, sign your name, and drop it in the. If it relates to this study of Joshua or an immediate need we will address it ASAP.  Don’t forget to put your prayer needs on a note and drop it in the PRAYER BOX.
How appropriate the title of the lecture is with the Anniversary of 9-11 just this past Sunday. Where were you on that day? Did you know anyone affected, injured or killed in the attack? I can remember exactly the room I was in, teaching fourth grade at Belmont Central, when a knock gave at the door and I was called into the hall to relate the news of first plane hitting the Twin Towers.  My first reaction was shock, unbelief that such a thing could happen, confusion on how to handle parents flooding the school to reclaim their children. Never throughout the unfolding of the events and the endless replaying of the action by the television news program, did I feel fear or dread or lack of peace.
Why? Because I remembered God’s promises, assured by His continual presence, and His covered by His sovereign protection.
Isaiah 43:1-3 is one of my favorite promises.
1But now, this is what the LORD says—  he who created you, O Jacob,  he who formed you, O Israel:
“Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine.
2 When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. 3 For I am the LORD, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior;
Remember God’s Promises
Have you ever noticed that new opportunities often bring with them feeling of inadequacy? Do you think Joshua had doubts as he was given the overwhelming commission to lead the Israelites into the Promised Land?
Moses saw the land but did not possess it. Deut. 34: 4 “Then the LORD said to him (Moses), “This is the land I promised on oath to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob when I said, ‘I will give it to your descendants.’ I have let you see it with your eyes, but you will not cross over into it.”
Joshua must now walk in the land to possess it.  LORD said to Joshua 1:2 “Moses my servant is dead. Now then, you and all these people, get ready to cross the Jordan River into the land I am about to give to them—to the Israelites”. Talk about responsibility.
3 “I will give you every place where you set your foot, as I promised Moses.”…  from the desert to Lebanon, and the great river, the Euphrates—all the Hittite country—to the Great Sea on the west.
Joshua had God’s promises 5 “No one will be able to stand up against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you. “ 6 “Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their forefathers to give them.  Joshua had to walk by faith.
Prosperity and Success
Joshua 1:7 Just be determined, be confident; and make sure that you obey the whole Law that my servant Moses gave you. Do not neglect any part of it and you will succeed wherever you go.8 Be sure that the book of the Law is always read in your worship. Study it day and night, and make sure that you obey everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.9 Remember that I have commanded you to be determined and confident! Do not be afraid or discouraged, for I, the Lord your God, am with you wherever you go.  Living Translation
When Patti Prieb, our CBS Area Director, called me last July to ask me to pray about accepting the position of Teaching Director. I was stunned; I felt so unworthy of the calling.  But I had to remember the promises of God.
     Joshua 1:5 I will never leave you nor forsake you.
     Thess. 5:24 The one who calls you is faithful and he will do it.

Do you feel the POWER?
Do you ever feel inadequate in your marriage, your finances, on your job, with your parenting skills? Maybe tonight you even feel like you have bit off more than you can chew with this 30 week Bible Study. Let me ask you a question? Have you taken it to God? Are you appropriating God’s power this is available to you?
A man bought a chainsaw and was frustrated when it didn’t do a good job. He could cut only a couple of trees each day, instead of 40, as he’d been promised. When he brought it back to the shop, the owner pulled the starter rope and the chainsaw started right up. The man asked in surprise, “What’s that noise?”
 Often, we’re like that. We have the chainsaw, but we haven’t learned to access the power! Remember God’s promises are for you. Accept His forgiveness and His supernatural resources to successfully meet the challenges in your daily life.
Joshua didn’t give in to feelings of inadequacy. He remembered God’s promises! Joshua was strong and courageous and stepped out in faith, trusting God would be with him wherever he went.
Joshua may have doubted his ability when he realized certainty of his responsibilities. Moses, his mentor and leader, was dead. Talk about feeling all alone at the top! How could he ever lead this bunch of stubborn, complaining people?
Even Moses, who talked with God, could barely maintain any control as their leader.
WHOSE PEOPLE? (Exodus 32:7LORD said to Moses, “Go down, because your people, whom you brought up out of Egypt, have become corrupt. 11But Moses sought the favor of the LORD his God. “O LORD,” he said, “why should your anger burn against your people, whom you brought out of Egypt with great power and a mighty hand? Again 33:1 and 13)
But Joshua had been mentored and trained by Moses. He knew power who had the power and he knew was not alone.
God was with him every step of the way. He could feel the presence of the Lord
Remember God’s Presence “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9
Matthew 8:24 And suddenly a great tempest arose on the sea, so that the boat was covered with the waves. But He was asleep. 25 Then His disciples came to Him and awoke Him, saying, “Lord, save us! We are perishing!”
26 But He said to them, “Why are you fearful, O you of little faith?” Then He arose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm.

Ladies several weeks ago, my pastor was telling the story of the disciples in the boat when storm came up, crying out for Jesus to wake up from his nap and save them from the storm. These were experienced fishermen and had weather many storms.  Matthew 8:26 He said to them, “Why are you afraid, you men of little faith?” Then He got up and rebuked the winds and the sea, and it became perfectly calm.  Jesus had just healed a man of leprosy and the Centurion’s slave and yet the disciples still didn’t realize the power of God. My Pastor said “They just didn’t get it!”  The Pastor pointed out into our congregation and said “Do you get it?” I was shaking my head really encouraging him. And Ladies I promise I felt like he pointed straight at me!!! And challenged “Do you, do you really get it!!!”I was so convicted, holding on to 3 issues in my hand and clutching them tight. I argued with the God! “Please LORD; I can fix this let me do it!” I don’t want to give it up yet!!! How prideful to think that I am more capable of fixing my problems than Almighty God the Creator of the Universe. Ladies I had to take those issues and lay them down at the altar at His feet and leave them there. And you know I have been freed from those worries. I know who is in control; who controls the waves and calms the storm.
RAHAB “Not who she was, but who she became.”  Harlot, Weaver of flax, Protected her family, Courageous
Let’s talk about Rahab, I am so amazed and comforted to study how God uses the most unlikely people to accomplish His purposes. Praise the Lord- He is using me. Romans 3:9 reminds, No one is righteous. “No, not one.” This year we will be studying other Servants of God that were not perfect, yet Christ blood washes us and redeems us to be used for His glory.
Remember God’s Protection
Rahab had great faith. She heard 10 We have heard how the LORD dried up the water of the Red Sea[b] for you when you came out of Egypt, and what you did to Sihon and Og, the two kings of the Amorites east of the Jordan, whom you completely destroyed.[c] 11 When we heard of it, our hearts melted and everyone’s courage failed because of you, for the LORD your God is God in heaven above and on the earth below.
She believed- Joshua 2:9 I know that the LORD has given this land to you and that a great fear of you has fallen on us, so that all who live in this country are melting in fear because of you.
She acted on her faith 12 Now then; please swear to me by the LORD that you will show kindness to my family, because I have shown kindness to you.
 Rahab easily could have doubted God’s presence, thinking, “How could God ever be with someone with a past like mine?”
Has that thought ever crossed your mind? The Devil would like for you to believe that, you just remind him that “you’ve been changed, you’ve been reborn, you’ve been washed by the blood of the lamb.”
Someone recently said “God equips the called. He doesn’t call the equipped.” I praise Him every day for His mercies and grace. Give Him all the glory, laud and honor that is due Him.
God’s Grace in the Guardrails
If you have teenagers, we know how they test the limits of your rules. Maybe some of us will even question the policies at work or church. But “Woe be unto those” that challenge the authority of God’s written Word.
Look at the carefully placed guardrails along a mountain road. Who in their right mind would complain about those “limiting, restrictive guardrails?”  God’s Word may seem limiting and restrictive to some.
Melissa Griffin relates this story in her blog, “A few years back, one of my relatives (we’ll call him Bob) was traveling home through the mountains of Western N C after spending the day in another city. As his vehicle cruised the winding roads, Bob began to feel a bit drowsy, but still he drove on. Before long, Bob found himself fully awakened when his truck drifted to the opposite side of the road and ricocheted off the guardrail. Although it left an ugly mark down the side of the vehicle, the guardrail served its purpose well and kept the truck from flying off the road.  Bob learned a powerful lesson that day about the purpose and necessity of guardrails.”
 Some of us might have bumps and bruises from our guardrails. God’s Word keeps us out of the ditch and on the road to success and protects us (sometimes from ourselves.)
GOD’S WORD: Know it, Obey it, Share it
When you feel inadequate about the challenge facing you, nobody understands all that you are going through, friends and family isn’t helping. Commit yourself to God’s Word Find you a book of God’s Promises-read them every morning.
God protected Joshua as he prepared to invade enemy territory. Because Rahab believed in their God, He protected her when she bravely chose to hide the Israelite spies. That same God can protect us, regardless of the circumstances. Remember His protection and step out in faith. You can trust Him!
 What lessons can we learn from Joshua and Rahab? For one thing, God can use all kinds of people to accomplish His purposes. Joshua had a great past of faithfulness, training, and integrity; Rahab had a sordid and ugly past. And yet, God used both to accomplish His purposes.
Ladies would you choose to trust God’s promises, presence and protection?
The secret is in your willingness to risk everything and give all your worries to God.  For Joshua, God’s question was: Will you trust My promises, My presence and My protection to make you Israel’s leader?  For Rahab the question was: Will you risk everything for Me, trusting that I will give you My promise, My presence, and My protection? God’s question for you is: Will you choose to trust God’s plan and purpose for your life?